Alter Ego #166 November 2020 (magazine review).

November 1, 2020 | By | Reply More

This latest edition of ‘Alter Ego’ shares more space with the Fawcett Collectors Of America (FCA), giving a 1996 San Diego Convention interview with comicbook artist Kurt Schaffenberger who worked on the original Captain Marvel for Fawcett and the Lois Lane comics for DC Comics amongst his other work, although he was less keen doing Supergirl. His views about modern comicbooks not being hopeful is still pertinent 19 years after his death.

Objectively, bad news does tend to sell better than good news or the comicbook companies wouldn’t still be killing off their characters but there needs to be some balance for optimism.

This is followed up with an article by Mark Voger and his friendship with the Kurt and Dorothy Schaffenberger for over a decade which looks a bit deeper at the artist.

As interesting as this is what is likely to make this issue a sell-out are two pictures, albeit not entirely water colour, by Alex Ross, both depicting all the characters that had a similar pattern of lightning changes to super-hero bodies. As Ross says in the text, it would be a copyright nightmare to release formerly, although I do think the first one suffers a little with the centre-crease.

The problem is if you had it reduced in size, the detail would suffer and you might miss things like the Forever People and Rick Jones inside the second Captain Marvel’s cosmic awareness face. Alex does spend some time and pages going over all the characters in the first picture except for Fred McMurray and Judy Garland as Dorothy but you do know who they are, don’t you?

The second part of the tributes to the late Bill Schelly (1951-2019) are many and point out just how much of a dedicated comicbook historian he was with many books on the subject.

‘Mr. Monster’s Crypt’ pulls out an old article by Sam Moskowitz which is spread into two parts looking at Mort Weisinger. The first part looks at his Science Fiction period and how he started off as an SF writer.

We also have the ninth part of comicbook writer John Broom’s autobiography and his liking for ping pong, amongst other sports.

Of significance, ‘Alter Ego’ also records the deaths of comicbook writer Nick Cuti (1944-2020), inker Frank McLaughlin (1935-2020) and artist Hy Fleishman (1927-2020).

Finally, ‘From The Tomb’ by Peter Normanton has as a title ‘Pre-Code Girls In Peril: A Lurid Portrayal!’. Essentially, the selling point of women in peril sold better if they had a bit of bust and were beautiful on the covers. All that changed when the Comics Code came about.

Do I really have to sell you on buying this issue? Knowledge is power.

GF Willmetts

November 2020

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 9.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6890. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 9.95 (US))

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Category: Magazines, Superheroes

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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